EasyJet CEO criticises testing requirements in Britain's travel restart plan

Elias Hubbard
Апреля 7, 2021

Under the prime minister's roadmap for lifting lockdown restrictions, worldwide travel without a reasonable excuse will not be allowed to happen earlier than 17 May.

Britons are now banned by law from going on holiday overseas under the extraordinary powers Parliament has given the government to fight the pandemic.

The government "hopes" summer holidays will be possible this year but is advising the public not to book "until the picture is clearer".

When will pubs and restaurants reopen in the UK?

Speaking to Sky News, the prime minister responded to a call from the boss of easyJet to allow people to use lateral flow tests - rather than more expensive PCR tests - as part of border requirements when returning from overseas.

British officials are considering a traffic-light system ranking countries as green, yellow or red based on their level of infections.

Travellers from green countries will still have to take virus tests before departing and after arriving, Johnson's office said.

Entering England from a non-red-list country now entails test costs of £210 per person.

The UK now charges each arrival £210 for two COVID-19 PCR tests.

These PCR tests can be booked from a list of government-approved providers and cost around £170-£200.

"We set out our road map and we're sticking to it", Johnson said during a news conference.

The issue of vaccine passports has been hotly debated around the world, raising questions about how much governments, employers, and venues have a right to know about a person's virus status. We're going to see what we can do to make things as flexible and as affordable as possible. Then a fast spreading new virus strain forced the United Kingdom to declare most worldwide travel off-limits.

"We can't do it immediately, but that doesn't mean we've given up on May 17".

On global travel he said "we will be saying as much as we can, as soon as we can".

"Taking into account the latest situation with variants and the evidence about the efficacy of vaccines against them, we will confirm in advance whether non-essential worldwide travel can resume on May 17, or whether we will need to wait longer before lifting the outbound travel restriction". "But we just have to be prudent at this stage".

All adults and children in England will be able to have routine coronavirus tests twice a week as a way to stamp out new outbreaks, the British government said on Monday as it prepared to announce the next steps in lifting the nation's months-long lockdown.

The chief executive officer (CEO) of British airline easyJet has criticised some of the government's plans to restart travel, saying Covid-19 tests should not be required for passengers travelling to low-risk destinations.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday that no decision has been made yet regarding the introduction of the so-called Covid-19 vaccine passports, arguing that the government is still assessing some "complicated ethical and practical issues".

"That means that you wouldn't open up worldwide travel for everyone, you would open up for those who could afford to pay it", he said.

Mr Lundgren told BBC Breakfast: "It should not be needed to put any more complexities and cost in order to travel to and from those destinations". In parts of Wales where 111 isn't available, call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47.

Stay alert to stop coronavirus spreading - here is the latest government guidance. In Scotland anyone with symptoms is advised to self-isolate for seven days.

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